Part Two: You know I never would try and hurt ya.
"Gosh, guys, I've never seen you so . . . listless," said Gia. Autumn and Peter were trying to act as boring as possible—picking at their food instead of eating, and making no attempts at conversation.
Autumn shrugged. Come on, leave! We're so boring . . . what more does it take to get a friend to just walk away?
"Ooh, look at the time," sighed Gia. "I'm sorry, I have . . . um . . . an . . . um . . . something to go to," she finally blurted out.
"Bye," Autumn said softly. Gia got up and scurried away from the table. "Whew!" Autumn exclaimed, throwing her fork down next to her plate. "I thought she'd never leave."
Micky pushed himself from where he'd been leaning against the wall to a standing position. He came to join Autumn and Peter, who were ravenously hungry by now.
"Waiter!" called Micky.
"Yes, sir?" said the waiter who was there in the twinkling of an eye (don't ask, just read).
"I'd like to order . . . um . . . some chili."
"But sir, here you could have things like green, under-ripe strawberries smothered in moldy sour cream."
"Why would I want something like that?"
"It was just an example. You could have anything you want."
"Oh. Well, what's the special today?"
"Green, under-ripe strawberries smothered in moldy sour cream."
"That sounds good, I'll—hey! I still want that chili."
"Well, alright. Anything to drink?"
Autumn suddenly gagged on her salad.
"No," insisted Micky. "Anything but Coke."
"Well, if you're sure. . . ." The waiter turned away and walked toward the kitchen.
"Strange man," remarked Micky, turning to trace patterns on the table cloth with his finger.
"I'll say. Green strawberries—that's absurd! Everyone knows that you can't get strawberries like that til September!"
"Don't you remember?"
"Never mind, then."
"Autumn!" The call came from the entrance to the dining room. Autumn turned to see who was calling her.
"Rachel!" she called back. Autumn motioned for Rachel to come sit with them.
Rachel quickly wove her way between tables, cartes, waiters and patrons, and made her way to their table. She sat down in the empty seat on Micky's right. "Hi," she panted, out of breath.
"Hi," said Micky. "Who're you?"
"I'm Rachel, from room 303."
"I'm Micky. You must be right next door to Autumn."
"That's right, we're 'neighbors.'"
"So, Rachel," Autumn began. "What's up?"
"Not much. Just coming down for dinner."
"What do you do, Rachel?"
"Oh, I make my living selling poems and short stories to magazines with insipid readers who wouldn't have the insight to get past the words I put on the page and see the symbolism and underlying meaning of my words."
"I'm a musician," Micky responded lamely.
"Really? What do you play?"
"Drums. Peter and I," Micky gestured to Peter, "are in a band."
"Really? What do you call yourselves? What do you play? When? Where? Why? With anyone else?"
"Don't hurt him, Rachel," warned Autumn.
"We're the Monkees."
"Oh, I see. Like Beatles—B-E-A-T-L-E-S?"
"Yeah. A lot, as a matter of fact. We even have a little British guy on tambourine and maracas."
"So you play pop music?"
Though Rachel didn't seem like someone who'd enjoy pop music, she asked with catching warmth and enthusiasm. "Yeah," said Micky excitedly. "Would you like to hear us play sometime?"
"I'd love to! When and where?"
"The Vincent Van Gogh Gogh, tomorrow night at eight."
"I'll be there."
"With bells on?" asked Autumn, glad to get a word in edgewise.
Micky and Rachel looked at her as if she were crazy.
"Never mind, never mind."
"Would you like to have dinner before the gig?"
"Micky?!" exclaimed a familiar voice behind him. It was a voice that Micky knew was spelling trouble right now—with a capital G.
"What are you doing?"
"Talking to Rachel. What does it look like?"
"Like you've replaced me already. I'm sorry," Gia said, calming down to the point of freezing. "I just forgot my purse." Gia stooped, got her purse and walked away.
"So, Rachel . . . dinner or not?"
Mary, Mary Part Three
back to Mary, Mary Part One